N.H. median home price increases for first time since 2010

The last pre-election report on home sales from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors is a good one for those arguing that the housing market is on the rebound.

For the first time since the recession hit, the median price of a single-family home in the Granite State actually rose in September due to the push of supply and demand, by 2.3 percent, compared to the previous September.

Sales have also continued to climb, rising 7.5 percent compared to last September, though short of the 19 percent sales growth year to date. But it was the slight increase in median prices statewide – from just over $195,000 to just under $200,000 — that is the big news.

It is the first sales price increase in 21 months – but that one was due to the one-time homebuyer's tax credit, according to the Realtors Association.

"This time, we're dealing with more of a natural supply-and-demand dynamic," said Realtors President John Rice. "When sales numbers steadily increase and inventory decreases, market forces are typically going to push prices up, and that's what we're witnessing here."

The September increases don't make up for the 2.4 percent decline seen over the rest of the year. And they are not across the board.

With some exceptions, the biggest increases are in areas that have a large second-home market. Belknap – with its lakefront homes – led the way with a 19.1 percent increase (though it still suffers from a 3.1 percent year-to-date decline.) Rockingham, with its coastal properties, went up 5 percent, bringing its year-to-date increase to 1.2 percent. )The median price there leads the state — $251,000 in September. )The median price in Coos County was the lowest statewide, at $66,000, in September – but it was 7.3 percent higher than last September, and prices have gone up year-to-date by 9.3 percent.

Coos and Belknap counties also lead the state the increase in the number of sales, with 33.3 and 25.8 percent respectively, in September, according to the Realtors.

The median sale price declined in Hillsborough County – by 1 percent for the month and nearly 2 percent for the year. And in Grafton County and Cheshire, there were more significant price decreases.

Condo prices are still on the decline, falling by 5 percent for the month and 2 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, the RE/MAX Housing Report, put out by the real estate brokerage chain shows a similar trend.

The median price for a unit in September was $190,000, a 2.7 percent increase, and the number of units sold rose 9.6 percent, according to RE/MAX. There were also some 13,700 units in inventory in September, compared to under 12,500 the same month in 2011, the company reported.

There is also further good news when it comes to foreclosure rates.

Based on August data reported by CoreLogic, foreclosure rates in the Manchester-Nashua area continued to drop in 2012, falling to 1.48 percent (compared to 1.62 percent in September 2011). The 90+ day delinquency rate has also fallen to 4.26 percent (compared to 4.8 percent in September of 2011 and 5.7 percent in January 2010), as reported by CoreLogicStatewide there was a similar decline in both foreclosure and delinquency rates.

NHBR has already reported that, statewide, foreclosure deed recordings in August dropped 12 percent from August 2011, according to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, whose next report should be coming out close to Election Day.


Categories: Real Estate & Construction